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What Running Away At 15 Taught Me About Parenting 

It was 3am and I was walking down my neighbourhood street in a sports bra, sweatpants, and socks. My heart was beating so fast, it felt like it was about to jump out of my chest, but there was no turning back at that point. I felt like if I did, I might turn into a pillar of salt. At 15, I ran away from home for the first time with no plan. I didn’t make it up to 24 hours before the police brought me back home. Adorned in shame, my African mother beat me senselessly out of frustration and not being able to understand why I was acting out. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to be the last time I attempted to run away from home. 

The next time I attempted to run away was a lot more successful. It was a few months after the first incident and I got caught sneaking out to see a boy and was too scared to go back home. This time, I packed my bags and ran away for the summer. Till this day, I still can’t believe I ran away for an entire month. A week out of that month, I hid in the closet of my room at home while my sister would bring me food to eat when my dad wasn’t looking. Eventually, I had to go and stay at a school friend's house because staying at home was no longer safe. By the end of the summer, after adventures with my drug dealer boyfriend and being absolutely broke, I decided to go back home as a new school year was about to start. In retrospect and as a new parent, the experience taught me some vital lessons about parenting...